While I was flipping between TSN and Rogers Sportsnet for the first two minutes, I knew that Sportsnet would be a gongshow. William Houston of the Globe and Mail confirmed my assumption.
Anyway, onto the day; I was a little disappointed at the moves....but at the end of the day, the last deal will be the one anyone talks about. So, we start with it.
Unable to get him signed to a new contract, the Edmonton Oilers (on Mark Messier night) traded the face of the franchise, Ryan Smyth, to the New York Islanders. In return, the Oilers get a 1st round pick, Robert Nilsson, and Ryan O'Marra. The Oilers and Smyth were working on terms of a contract, but couldn't come to an agreement. Smyth said he wouldn't take a "hometown discount" and was asking for a multi-year deal at $5.5M.
Now, this could signal the possible white flag of the Oilers. They gave up M-A Bergeron a week earlier and now with Smyth-- you have to wonder if they are giving up on the season. It should take the wind out of the sails of the team just because Smyth was the guy in Edmonton. Now, we'll see where this takes the Oilers, as they are seven points out of a playoff spot in 9th place.
The Buffalo Sabres were busy, but also made some questionable deals. First off, the Sabres finally traded Martin Biron, but not to a contender and not out West. Biron went to the Philadelphia Flyers for a 2nd-round pick. To compensate that, the Sabres picked up Ty Conklin from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a fifth round pick. To compensate for front line injuries, the Sabres got Dainius Zubrus and Timo Helbling from the Washington Capitals for Jiri Novotny and a 1st round pick.
You can't blame the Sabres for trying to get a forward, but Zubrus has really benefited from having Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin on his wings. Plus, Zubrus is only a rental with his asking price being too high and the Sabres having to sign Chris Drury and Daniel Briere.
Now, for the Biron/Conklin swap.....WHAAAAAAA?!? Now, this doesn't make sense at all. That's like trading a Porsche for a Gremlin. If Ryan Miller goes down, do the Sabres think that Conklin will be the guy to carry the load?? I understand they needed to get something for Biron, but that's not the way to go about it all.
The big name that went was Bill Guerin, who went to the San Jose Sharks for Ville Nieminen, Jay Barriball, and a 1st round pick. Guerin will bring even more depth to the Sharks offense, but defense may be the question. We'll see how it comes around with a little slump the Sharks are going through, but their offense is scary good on paper-- now they need to come through on the ice.
As much as I hate to admit it, the Pittsburgh Penguins did pretty well during this deadline. They added muscle to the team and while it may not be enough to win a Stanley Cup, it will be enough to get their stars into the playoffs for a big run.
The Pens picked up Gary Roberts from the Florida Panthers for Noah Welch, while Georges Laraque got picked up from Phoenix for Dan Carcillo and a 3rd round pick in '08. Both Laraque and Roberts had to waive their no trade clause.
While Roberts is a great vet and Laraque the muscle; the issue with Laraque is that he has a no-movement contract. That means Laraque can't be traded, sent down or bought out unless he approves. Laraque has another season on his contract making just over a million bucks, which is a little much for a fighter.
The Pens also picked up Nolan Schaefer as a goalie for Wilkes-Barre Scranton.
One of the interesting moves is the Detroit Red Wings taking a big chance on Todd Bertuzzi , but they didn't give up much-- just a conditional draft pick and prospect Shawn Matthias. Bertuzzi hasn't played since October and has had to deal with some back surgeries in order to get better.
That said, if Bertuzzi is healthy, he'll bring some much needed grit to the Red Wings roster and will be the muscle if he can hold out on his health.
There were plenty of other deals to talk about, but you can check out Face Off Hockey Show for the analysis from us and Spector's Hockey's Lyle Richardson. We'll do all we can to break down the deals made, not made, the winners and the losers.
If you need all the round-up for the Trade Deadline, check out TSN's trade page for all the deals big or small.